by Alex Kay

Luka Modric is close to moving to Spain, with Real Madrid desperate to sign the Tottenham midfielder.

Exclusive: Modric on the verge of Spain move as Madrid lead race for Spurs star

That is the view of Modric’s friend and former Croatia team-mate Mate Bilic, who has claimed Manchester United and Chelsea have competition for the 26-year-old.

‘I’m very good friends with Modric,’ said the Sporting Gijon striker. ‘He wants to play in the Spanish league. He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He’s very close to agreeing a move.’

That revelation comes with Real Madrid preparing a bid for Modric and former Croatia and Real star Davor Suker claiming the Tottenham man is good enough to be a galactico and also claims Manchester City are interested in him.

United and Chelsea are also keen to sign Modric, who wants to leave White Hart Lane for Champions League football. Managerless Spurs don’t want to lose the linchpin of the midfield but might not be able to resist a second summer of bids, even if clubs might not want to meet Daniel Levy’s £35million valuation.

Jose Mourinho is a long-term admirer of Modric and sees him as an integral part of his plan to win the Champions League with a third club. He wants Modric to play alongside Xabi Alonso in central midfield.

Suker said: ‘Luka Modric is a player who could play for Real Madrid. He needs to be playing for a team that will win trophies. He’d be perfect for them.

‘I would recommend that Florentino Perez signs him. If he doesn’t sign for Real Madrid, he’ll end up at Manchester City or Chelsea. He has to leave Tottenham to win trophies.’

When told about Suker’s praise, Modric said: ‘I am proud he thinks I could be a Real Madrid player. It’s good. I thank him a lot for his words.’